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 Picture this: A group of passionate fans is huddled around their devices. Their favorite outlet has just dropped the latest response to a hotly contested article that has divided their community. As the group reads through, they debate, discuss, inquire, and post in their chosen social network. They make reference to other similar works, cite compelling evidence, and have different perspectives on the future direction of their community. Now, what kind of community did you have in mind during this scene? Were you imagining a group of teens debating the latest controversy from The Real Housewives or Keeping Up With the Kardashians? Or what about a group of literary scholars discussing a new interpretation that challenges the consensus on a canonical texts? What if it was referring to both? That might surprise you, but it’s an overlap that’s incredibly familiar to our guest this week—Assistant Professor of ELA Education and SUNY Empire State College, Dr. Karis Jones. Dr. Jones is a self-styled acafan activist studying the interpretive and discursive practices that happen in fandom spaces. Like me, she believes this broadening of how we conceptualize literacy can have transformative implications for how we frame and teach the discipline. So, whether you’re a literary scholar, Marvel Movie fan, or K-Pop enthusiast, this episode has much to offer. Enjoy! Follow Karis on TwitterCheck out her website here
What comes to mind when you hear the word YouTube? Depending on your age and level of “online-ness” it might be anything from cat videos, to videogame steams, to TedTalks. But what about sociology? Philosophy? Cultural studies and critical theory? What if I told you were are enthusiasts, graduate students, and tenured professors producing accessible and insightful video essays with all the intellectual heft of a published journal article? And that they’re getting hundreds of thousands of views? That’s what today’s episode is all about–finding the intersection between scholarly pursuits, multimodal composition, and the wild west of web 2.0. Joining me on this conversational adventure is one of my personal favorite YouTubers, the man, the myth–F.D Signifier. A teacher and ABD sociology student turned YouTuber, F.D has north of 350 thousand subscribers and 12 MILLION views. For those of you who aren’t hip to YouTube–that is A LOT. Enough that producing video essays and digital content is now his full-time gig. Luckily for us, he was generous enough to stop by and share how he leverages his training as a social scientist to create accessible, nuanced, and seriously entertainment videos exploring topics ranging from Black Masculinity to Bridgerton. Whether you’re a zealous believer in critical media literacy or a reticent skeptic, this conversation has so much to offer. F.D’s has an inspirational level of commitment to his craft, but also doesn’t shy away from sharing the potential pitfalls of micro-celebrity and cultural analysis as edutainment. Get ready to like/comment/subscribe… and enjoy this episode. F.D's YouTube Channel
Have you ever shot off an angry email or text message and immediately regret it? Or have you ever wondered why it’s better to hash out disagreements in person instead of by email? Despite its ubiquitous nature, written communication is the lifeblood of complex modern institutions. Seriously. How we communicate in print can make or break an organization’s culture and productivity. So, in an effort to better understand the power of the written word,  this week, Julia and I dig deep into the cognitive and social neuroscience behind written communication. Guiding us on this conversational journey is author, entrepreneur, and former scientist, Rob Ashton. His course, Silent Influence, pretty much blew both our minds, so we were eager to dive into this conversation. Continuing the Conceptually Speaking tradition–Rob’s message peels back the layers of misconception and pseudoscience and captures the true complexity of communication. Hold onto your socially situated brains, friends, because this was a fantastic episode.Rob's websiteSilent Influence Course
Joseph Jones and TJ Vari are authors, speakers, and district administrators who have written four books together. Their most recent publication, Retention for a Change: Motivate, Inspire, and Energize Your School Culture,  details targeted strategies for motivating, inspiring, and energizing educators in a variety of settings.Virtual Masterclass on Compassionate FeedbackTechnical Tip: Praise Practice--A Model for Specific Praise 
Graham Fletcher has served in education as a classroom teacher, math instructional lead, and currently as a math specialist.  His work with the math progressions and problem-based lessons has led him to present throughout North America and beyond.Graham is continually advocating for best practice in elementary mathematics by seeking new and innovative ways to support students and teachers in their development of conceptual understanding. He is the author of Building Fact Fluency: A Toolkit for Addition and Subtraction.Twitter: @gfletchyFacebook:“All of us are smarter than one of us.” – Graham Fletcher
Zoe Weil (pronounced “Zoh While”) is the co-founder and president of the Institute for Humane Education (IHE), and is considered a pioneer in the comprehensive humane education movement. Zoe created IHE’s M.Ed., M.A. and graduate certificate programs, as well as IHE’s acclaimed humane education and MOGO (most good) workshops. Zoe is the author of seven books including Amazon #1 Best Seller in Philosophy and Social Aspects of Education, The World Becomes What We Teach: Educating a Generation of Solutionaries (2021/2016) She has also written numerous articles on humane education and humane living and has appeared frequently on radio as well as television.Zoe writes for Psychology Today where you can read her blog Becoming a Solutionary.
Welcome to a special combined episode of Conceptually Speaking. This week Kayla and I linked up with Charles Williams, host of the Counter Narrative Podcast and a K-8 principal in the Greater Chicago Episode. Our dialogue is a free-flowing conversation exploring everything from seeking our educational purpose in turbulent times to the importance of asset-based instruction to the hit show Abbot Elementary. It was a beautiful reminder that shared dialogue with other educators with common goals and values can be sustaining and motivating. We hope you walk away from this episode with a similar feeling.
What a school year this has been. Educators across the country (and the world) have navigated yet another year of teaching under COVID. Worse still, many American teachers, administrators, and district staff have found themselves in the crosshairs of culture warriors and political opportunists. There have, and continue to be baseless book bans, draconian policy proposals, and astroturfed conspiracies about nefarious and ideologically charged curricula. Amidst the chaos, it’s not exactly a secret many teachers are not well and are leaving the profession in unprecedented numbers. Though there have been well-intentioned gestures at promoting well-being in many districts—solving our current raft of problems will take more than breathwork and yoga mats. It will require systemic change, of course, and we’ve spoken a lot about that on Conceptually Speaking but our guest this week, Dr. Adam Saenz is here to discuss the messy individual journey of self-actualization. Adam earned his Ph.D. in School Psychology from Texas A&M University with clinical training at Harvard Medical School. He completed his post-doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He also earned a Doctorate of Ministry in Pastoral Counseling from the Graduate Theological Foundation with residency at Christ Church College of Oxford University. He is currently the CEO of Applied EQ Group.AppliedEQ GroupTwitter
Join Julie Stern and Mihai Catrinar on this week's episode as they chat with mental health specialist, consent workshop facilitator, and international school counselor, Cheryl-Ann Weekes. Her organization, Weekes Enterprise, LLC, was created as a way to provide workshops for counselors and educators to equip them with the tools to have mental health, consent, and boundary conversations with their students. They also conduct workshops for students in schools, community programs, churches, and non-profit organizations.Connect with Cheryl-AnnWebsiteTwitterLinkedinInstagram
Karine Veldhoen, M.Ed., is the founder of Learn Forward™ and a creative force in education. As Chief Learning Officer at Willowstone Academy she created the first model Learn Forward™ school while simultaneously Founding and serving as Executive Director of Niteo Africa. She’s taught Teacher Candidates at both UBC-O and UNBC and served as an education consultant for Fresh Grade. In all of her roles, she considers herself a modern-day pilgrim who stands for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. In this episode, she chats with Julie and Kayla about LeanForward
This week on Conceptually Speaking science lead Julia Briggs and I are joined by the CEO and Founder of Organize Binder, Mitch Weathers. Mitch’s experience as an educator, department chair, and coach has provided ample opportunities for him to see the difference between students who have a clarity of purpose and sense of agency and those who feel lost in the swirling chaos of bells, lectures, and homework assignments. Through a combination of firsthand experience and diligent research, Mitch founded Organized Binder in 2005 as a way to create systems and routines to help students hone academic skills and executive functions like personal goal setting and time management. They are the types of skills many teachers are struggling to foster in their classrooms as students return to school, and more importantly, they’re the skills students need to reclaim or claim for the first time, a sense of agency in their learning. Though there are myriad systemic and structural problems facing education that must be tackled, there are also some simple, but powerful, steps educators can make in the interim to better equip students to navigate their academic journey. Our conversation with Mitch about his Organized Binder system sounds like it could be a great place to start.
This week on Conceptually Speaking I’m joined by Joe Schmidt and our very own Nichelle Pinkney—coauthors of the upcoming book Civil Discourse: Classroom Conversations for Stronger Communities from Corwin Press. With the current state of our dumpster fire national discourse, this book could not be coming at a better time. For posterity, at the time of recording this podcast, there are dozens of bills being drafted in state legislatures around the country attempting to censor any dialogue of so-called divisive concepts, historical injustices, and the fraught, complex nature of America’s past. Now, more than ever, educators require reliable, research-based scaffolds and frameworks to foster the types of dialogue, discussion, and debate required to continue our shared democratic project. To that end, Joe and Nichelle’s book details how to go about co-constructing classroom communities using the CUBED method to make that make civil discourse possible. It's no surprise that two humans who wrote a book about the nuances of productive conversation were such fantastic podcasts guests. Stay tuned for an informative and lively discussion about Civil Discourse.Link to Buy Civil DiscourseLink to Joe's WebsiteLink to Nichelle's LTT Bio
On this week's episode of Conceptually Speaking Elementary Lead Jess Mattei and I sit down with college professor turned content creator, Zoe Bee. While Zoe’s eponymous YouTube channel is a cornucopia of videos on composition, culture, and education she recently released a video that was near and dear to my nerdy English Heart—Are the Classics Dead? A Professor Explains. Throughout the video Zoe dives headfirst into the fraught framing around literary canon; what is it? Why does it exist? What are the systemic and structural forces that shape it? I won’t spoil the results, but it’s the type of binary-busting nuance that we love. Our conversation goes beyond the content of one video though, as we explore the writing process, the shifting tides of English Studies, and the intersections between her work in academia and as a Youtuber. At the heart of Zoe’s work and this episode though, is her deep passion for inquiry and ideas. As you’ll likely be able to tell, Jess and I were incredibly amped for this episode and it didn’t disappoint. Enjoy!Zoe's YouTube ChannelZoe's "Are the Classics Dead?" Video
Hello listeners. Conceptually Speaking is returning from its Holiday hiatus with an episode we’ve been itching to release. This week, Kayla joined Julie to have a conversation with Danny Bauer, author, podcast host, and the brain behind Mastermind—a coaching group and leadership development community. His recent book, Mastermind Unlocking Talent within Every School Leader is a fantastic book for anyone looking to upskill their capacity to serve and lead others. Danny’s passion for supporting and sustaining the growth of educators—specifically leaders—that shines through the entire dialogue. It’s clear he has devoted time and effort to cultivate his unique vision for effective leadership, quoting everyone from Seth Godin to Walt Whitman in under an hour ALL while sharing how he brought the Mastermind model to education. Danny's innovative approach and philosophy on leadership make for some compelling stories and actionable advice for anyone in educational leadership. We hope you enjoy
Joining me on this week’s episode is our new Elementary Specialist, Jessica Mattei. Jess and I were lucky enough to chat with Dr. Miah Daughtery, Director of Literacy for NWEA and a powerful advocate for students' right to read and write. Over the course of our dialogue, Miah takes us through the rich tapestry of her career, sharing insight into her experiences leading initiatives focusing on everything from state-level curriculum projects to middle school yearbook programs. The obvious connective tissue between Dr. Daughtery’s variety of educational entry points, though, is a clear devotion to student agency and empowerment. In addition to having some in-depth discussion around literacy practices and research, a special bonus of this episode is the wealth of practical advice shared about the right (and wrong!) ways to approach disciplinary literacy instruction in schools. Whether you’re a teacher or superintendent, there’s plenty here for you to enjoy!Follow Miah here! She is one of my favorite accounts on Twitter. 
Our guest this week is Dr. Traci Scheepstra , CEO and co-founder of Embodied Learnings. Joining Julie this week is our effervescent elementary lead and resident chair yoga expert, Nathalie Lauriault. It’s her first episode of Conceptually Speaking and we could think of no one better to join Tracy in a dialogue exploring the relationship between affect, embodiment, and education. Following a trend of some of our recent episodes, Dr. Scheepstra's message is one that invites and encourages us to take a step outside our current brain-bound conceptions of learning and consider all that is lost when we treat learners as though they’re merely a brain in a vat. It’s a conversation filled with practical tips and thought-provoking ideas, but the main through-line is how we can help students feel their learning, not just think about it. So, in the spirit of the episode, find a calm, quiet place to listen, close your eyes, and prepare to feel the conversational wisdom being weaved for the next fifty minutes. 
In this week's episode of Conceptually Speaking, Julie and Kayla are joined by Kwame Sarfo-Mensa—mathematics teacher as well as Founder & CEO at Identity Talk Consulting. Throughout this powerful conversation, Kwame details his perspective on Belonging, Identity, and Authenticity—each of which is a foundational concept in the culturally sustaining pedagogy that anchors his teaching practice. As you’ll soon discover, at the heart of Kwame’s teaching practice lies a commitment to honoring and uplifting all students' identities in ways that allow them to bring their authentic selves to the classroom. Stay tuned for the rest of the episode to hear more about how you can leverage an asset-based approach to create an environment that liberates and educators students.
On this episode of Conceptually Speaking, Julie and I are joined by, the ineffable Annie Murphy Paul a writer covering science and cognition and the author of The Extended Mind:  The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain. To say that Julie and I were excited about this episode would be a mild understatement. Both of us had ravenously consumed The Extended Mind prior to recording and were blown away at both its ambition and clarity. Over the course of her book, and this conversation, Annie details the power of what she calls extending our mind through practices like externalizing information, making abstractions tangible, spatializing information, and even using our bodies to make meaning. This ability to extend our mind challenges many of the deeply held myths about the separation of mind and body that have come to dominate the ways we conceive thinking, learning, and reductive notions of intelligence in Western Society. In fact, Annie’s work even transformed her own beliefs about practices about thinking. So much of Annie’s compiled research has immediate and tangible applications to education, aligning beautifully with our work with Learning that Transfers. As educators and researchers, her debunking of De Carte's error truly captured our imaginations. We hope the episode will do the same for you. Enjoy!Buy the Extended MindCheck out Annie Murphy Paul's WebsiteFollow her on Twitter
Dr. Mike Johnston from Frankfurt International School joins Julie and LTT's Science Lead Julia Briggs to discuss complexity, sustainability, systems, and authentic assessments.
 Today’s episode will be an exploration of reading, writing, and thinking rhetorically with author and professor Jennifer Fletcher. Jennifer’s work as a high school English teacher, college professor, and chair of California State University’s Expository Writing Curriculum steering committee speaks to her broad experience with and deep understanding of the discipline. Both her research and books focus on the power of rhetorical thinking to encourage students to transfer their understanding to new texts and situations. Joining Trevor this week is Language Acquisition lead, Erin Leininger. If you’re looking for an episode that’s all about fostering autonomy and agency in your composition classroom—you’ve come to the right place. Enjoy!
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